The economic recession across the United States is seriously affecting every industry: from General Motors and other Automobile manufacturers down to book publishers and beyond. Sadly, I have to inform that my personal contacts at Pocket Star Books and Tokyopop have been laid off. I had heard a few weeks ago that Tim Beedle (Starcraft/ Warcraft manga editor) and Susan Hale were no longer at Tokyopop. I don’t know the perks, but now I have figured out it is due to lay offs.
Today, after visiting Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog, I found out that Marco Palmieri was among the 35 employees laid off by Simon & Schuster on December 3. He was the editor of all Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo novels, and more notoriously known as editor of 65% of the Star Trek pocket star books published in the past 11 years. It is a very sad day for hundreds of writers, including Richard A. Knaak, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christie Golden, Jeff Grubb, Graham McNeill, and Aaron Rosenberg who had the opportunity to meet and work with him. I am still in shock. I sent him an email just a day ago on Saturday not even knowing he may not even be able to read it from the office.
In my email I was letting him know the URL to the Night of the Dragon review and to ask a few things about the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre. I am really saddened to hear about his sudden departure. I have been in contact with Marco Palmieri for about two or three years. He would ship review copies of most Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft pocket star books to my home. The latest ones Diablo Archive, World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal and World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon.
I have no words to thank him for his great support to keep fans updated with lore and upcoming books. Thanks to him, Blizzplanet has been the main source of Blizzard novel news for other fansites, fans and even wiki enthusiasts in the past years. I had the opportunity to hand-shake Marco Palmieri this year at the New York Comic Con and to thank him face-to-face. I was looking forward to meeting him again on 2009. I will get in contact with the new editor, but it will not be the same without Marco. I am not the only one with that sentiment. All of the Blizzard novel writers feel the same way. We hope Marco Palmieri finds a new job doing what he does and loves best. Not only for him, but for his wife and two children. Best wishes to the other 34 employees who were laid off too.
The next Warcraft novel is expected to hit bookstores on April 21 as a hardcover (retail price: $ 25) under the title World of Warcraft: Arthas, The Rise of the Lich King—by Christie Golden. Hopefully, the layoffs won’t delay the release dates and script proposal and revisions for upcoming books.
Our sister site Starcraftwire.net, has found a printout of “Upcoming Games Releases in Singapore” that, lo and behold, mentions Starcraft 2 to be in your hands on Q1 2009. Are we seeing a anniversary release date? (April 1)
Blizzard Entertainment and Massive, Inc. stroke an exclusive deal to advertise on Battle.net. Before you freak out, this deal does not include in-game advertisement. Blizzard respects the integrity of their games and fans. Microsoft’s Massive. Inc will advertise in World of Warcraft and other game websites.
Starcraft Comic Book artist Shawn Moll released two of the sketches found in the Blizzcon 2008 comic preview. The first image is one of the characters named Cole Hickson. The second image is the pencil sketch of the Blizzcon 2008 preview front cover. The female sniper is named Nuura Joss. DC Comics Wildstorm has not officially announced the Starcraft Comic Book. It is expected to hit stores anytime on 2009 as an ongoing series based in the Starcraft universe. The planning of this comic has been going on since March 2008.
Blizzard reminds fans they will be at DreamHack Winter 2008 through November 27-30 where attendees will get their hands on Starcraft II and Wrath of the Lich King to experience multiplayer. Don’t miss the contests and the opportunity to get home the awesome Frostmourne sword.
DreamHack Winter is back, and Blizzard Entertainment will be there! We’ve partnered with TeliaSonera to give this year’s attendees a chance to play Blizzard’s upcoming StarCraft II and the recently released World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
You’ll find us next to the DreamArena, where Blizzard representatives will be on hand to answer questions, chat with players, and demonstrate the games. We’ll also be running several contests featuring great prizes, including the Lich King’s legendary sword Frostmourne—though don’t be surprised if Arthas himself shows up to try to stop you from winning.
This year’s DreamHack Winter takes place from 27 to 30 November at Elmia in J
All the Community managers are actively gathering questions for the next episode of BlizzCast (podcast). Feel free to submit your questions in the comments below. Simply register in order to submit your comments. I will personally send the questions to Bashiok (Diablo 3), Karune (Starcraft 2) and Nethaera (World of Warcraft).
Chat with Devs: StarCraft II is definitely evolving to be even more intense than the original StarCraft, with the increased mobility of units with cliff traversing abilities, as well as new transport abilities. In response, the development team has buffed up the Terran Planetary Fortress to have splash damage as well, which has proven to hold off decently against raids now, especially with your SCVs fixing the command center at a very high rate.
As always, shoot the devs and I a w00t! if you are enjoying this Q&A batch!
We have received heads up from a couple of agencies informing us that the voice acting role of Jim Raynor and Kerrigan the Queen of Blades are now up for grabs. It seems the Jim Raynor voice actor used in the Starcraft II cinematic and in the in-game single player demonstrations was a placeholder; or the creative team decided at last minute to change the actor.
Overall, this is an indication that Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is on crunch mode. Voice acting is one of the few steps of development when the single-player dialogues are set in stone. As many of us witnessed, the developers revealed they were a third done with the Single Player (at the Starcraft Panels during the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris back on June 28-29).
This was roughly five months ago. After Blizzcon, now we know that Starcraft II will be a trilogy. In short, fans could speculate they meant they were one third done with the Wings of Liberty episode.
Are we looking at an anniversary release date? (April 1); or the usual RTS release date (July 1)? We will have to wait and see.
We wish to gather feedback from the entire Starcraft Community. Do you wish Blizzard to hire the original Starcraft voice actors: Glynnis Talken (Kerrigan) and Robert Clotworthy (Jim Raynor)? Please, write up good reasons to wish these voice actors back in Starcraft II. Spread the word around your favorite forum communities.
Post your comments here. We will forward this petition to the Starcraft II team. This is your chance to get the former and loved Jim Raynor and Kerrigan voice actors back into Starcraft II!
Jim Raynor is a character from the Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War expansion who inspired many good feelings in the Single Player Campaigns. From Marshal of a backwater outpost in Mar Sara to leader of the Rebels against the Confederates, and later the Dominion and Mengsk, Jim Raynor continued his quest for a better tomorrow for humanity. No matter the odds facing him and his team. Or the challenges.
Jim Raynor, however, lost one odd that couldn’t be beaten: Blizzard. A year ago, at BlizzCon 2007, the Starcraft 2 team panels revealed that a new voice actor was given a casting to perform as Jim Raynor. This however is not the Jim Raynor’s voice that we know and love for the past ten years. No. The reasoning behind this change was that the original concept of Jim Raynor was designed from a TV series titled Texas Ranger. With Starcraft 2, the opportunity to hire someone meeting this and other requirements presented itself.
Is this what fans want? I really doubt that. Would you enjoy upcoming Harry Potter films without Daniel Radcliffe? Would you enjoy the X-files without Scully and Mulder? Would you enjoy The Simpsons if Homer and Bart’s voice actors were replaced? In the case of the original Starcraft, the voice of an actor is what gives texture and life to a character. We have heard Jim Raynor’s voice in the single player, and the User-Map Settings games over and over for ten years. We aren’t tired of his voice. We listen to his voice, and we know immediately, that’s Jim Raynor. That’s the man who has gone through bitter and krap, and continues his fight with no rest. Like a man in real life should. Jim Raynor and his voice have become as iconic and symbolic as any other character’s of any TV show, Comic Book, Cartoon, or film franchise.
A change of a character’s voice or in the case of TV series or films, the actor, can be justified if the original actor has passed away. The show must go on. However, when the actor is willing to continue his role from the bottom of his heart, and the administration decides to change the actor to stick to the original plan for a character … something is really, really bad. It is not a smart decision to tick off the fanbase. The voice actor was hired for the roll in Starcraft, and its expansion pack. Starcraft 2 should have the same voice actor performing Jim Raynor as we know and love.
Glynnis Talken reprised her role as Sarah Kerrigan the Queen of Blades in Starcraft 2. The same should have been done with Robert Clotworthy for his role as Jim Raynor. I will play Starcraft 2 regardless with the new voice actor. But there will be a stake buried deep in my mind permanently … that is no longer Jim Raynor. That’s someone else. Every time I play the Starcraft 2 Single Player campaign … it will echo within my mind: “That is not the Jim Raynor I have known for ten years.”
Robert Clotworthy informed Blizzplanet the following:
“I just found out today that I will not be returning as the voice of Jim Raynor. The casting director of Starcraft 2 contacted Blizzard and was told that they appreciated my work, but were going in another direction. I am obviously disappointed by their decision. I was looking forward to returning as Raynor and was hoping that Blizzard would at the very least have given me the opportunity of auditioning.
It has been my privilege to have been the voice of Jim Raynor. I am disappointed by Blizzard’s decision, but I must respect it. I wish Blizzard only the best with StarCraft 2, and I am certain the game will live up to everyone’s expectations. Thank you to all the fans who have given me their support and enthusiasm, it means a lot to me.
A year ago, Blizzplanet interviewed Robert Clotworthy shortly after Starcraft 2 was officially announced at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in South Korea. He expressed his feelings toward his role as Jim Raynor.
Robert Clotworthy has been actor or voice over actor of over a hundred film, TV episode, cartoon and game projects in the past thirty years of his career. Among them: Batman (Game), Tekken 5, Everquest II, The Young and the Restless, The Davinci Code (Game), Matlock, Melrose Place, Remington Steele, Three’s Company, Dynasty, The Rockford Files (1978), Columbo, M*A*S*H* and many others. Read his entire career background at imdb.com.
March 10th 9:40am – It is said from South Korea that Starcraft2.com (US) will unveil the Zerg webpage on March 11th.
March 10th 12:20am – High Resolution Images by Thisisgame.com
Everyone is screaming while held tight on their seats in an euphoric ecstasis. However, one thing seems certain … with the Zerg race officially unveiled, this means only one thing: Starcraft 2 Beta Test might happen any time between April-June. The 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (Paris, France) will happen on June. Here hoping Beta is soon.
Update: March 9th 11:15pm – New Starcraft II Cinematic Video from GameTrailers. Transcript by Edfishy.
We are Swarm.
We burned a path of annihilation across the stars.
And then—We vanished.
Four years ago we faded into the shadows.
Now, the time has come for us to step back … into … the light.
Now, worlds will tremble once again.
Empires will fall.
Alliances(?) will shatter.
We are the swarm.
But we are becoming … much… much more.
For the final metamorphasis has only just begun.
UPDATE: March 9th 10:22pm EST – SCLegacy is getting hammered. And I am getting multiple people whispering me findings on the net. This is crazy. Edfishy from Project Revolution Team just gave me a heads up of some Korean forums linking these images.
From GameFAQ, YYZ reports the following:
- Upgrades from the Overlord and now has an attack. The Overlord doesn’t have detection. You must upgrade to Overseer in order to gain detection of burrowed and invisible enemy units. However, the detection range has been increased.
- The queen is a vastly different unit. She has the powerful ability to control Zerg base defense. The queen can create special structures and extend creep. It has the ability to create toxic creep. And it can make buildings regenerate faster. You can only create one Queen at a time on the map. It has an ability named Deep Tunnel which allows it to move to any hatchery spread on the map.
- The roach is a very fast moving unit with 90 hit points that recovers health quickly. Requires sustained damage to effectively kill it.
- The infestor replaces the defiler. It can cast dark swarm. It may move toward the enemy while burrowed. Disease seems to mimic the Science Vessel’s irradiation. The Infestor can infest any building including barracks.
- The corruptor attacks air units. Instead of destroying them, it “corrupts” them possessing the enemy unit. It can cause a large group of units to fight each other, quickly turning the tide of the battle.
- The swarm guardian is much like the original guardian, but it can now also create broodlings and has a longer range of attack.
- The Ultralisk can now burrow.
More info translated to english at TeamLiquid. (Thanks, Entropy).